Lesson 9) Time to Relax
Welcome, welcome! This is it, your last lesson before one of the biggest tests of your wizarding careers - your O.W.L.s. I am sure you are all very nervous and have been studying very hard. Therefore, this lesson will be half new material, and half study time. The spells learned today may be touched on briefly during the course of your O.W.L. testing, but you will not be required to know any in-depth information on them. The purpose of this lesson is to help you all relax and study a little more. I want you all to feel prepared, not scared, so I thought we could take this time to learn some fun spells as well as a little more about some of your professors here at Hogwarts!
The Cure for Hiccoughs
Who here has ever had the hiccoughs, or hiccups, before? Most everyone I would guess! A hiccup is caused by the contraction of your diaphragm, which leads to your vocal chords closing and making a “hic” sound. They typically only last a few minutes at a time, but some very severe cases of hiccups have lasted for months on end. Hiccups are usually the result of excitement, swallowing air through eating or sucking on candy, or sometimes even from temperature changes! Some more severe cases of hiccups can be caused by tumors, laryngitis, or foreign material touching the eardrum.
The purpose of the Cure for Hiccoughs is to eliminate hiccups in the target. This spell can be used on yourself or on a willing participant. It is important to note that it should not be used on someone without hiccups as it can result in an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach. This is because the spell affects the diaphragm and if the diaphragm is functioning appropriately, the spell has nothing to act on, thereby causing the directed magic to simply dissipate throughout the stomach, creating a bit of an uncomfortable sensation.
It is important to mention that this spell should never be used on a case of hiccups that has gone on for more than 48 hours or on frequently recurring cases of hiccups. These are often the sign of an underlying disease that must be treated by a healer. The Cure of Hiccoughs should only be used occasionally to rid oneself of short, infrequent bouts of the hiccups. As always, when in doubt, contact a healer.
Incantation: Perultus (pear-ULL-toos)
Wand Movement: A clockwise circle with the wand pointing at the belly of the target.
Willpower: Low; Must overcome the body’s natural inclination to hiccup.
Concentration: Low; Focus on the feeling of not hiccuping.
It is interesting to note that Muggles also have their own ideas for curing hiccups! Without magic, Muggles have had to get creative with a lot of things, including cures for these inconvenient little buggers. They may hold their breath or take in big gasps of air to try and eliminate the hiccups. I have also heard of Muggles scaring each other to try and get rid of the hiccups. If you are ever curious, I encourage you to try these Muggle methods next time you have the hiccups and see what you prefer!
The Knitting Charm
Ah knitting! What a wonderful way to pass the time. I myself never got the hang of it, but my mother always enjoyed knitting hats and mittens for the holidays for friends and family alike! Thankfully, for people like me without the talent of hand knitting, the Knitting Charm was invented. Knitting is the creation of textiles or fabric using loops of yarn. Scarves, sweaters, hats, mittens, and blankets are some objects commonly knitted. Knitting utilizes two needles as well as yarn creating many rows of interlocking loops. Different patterns are used to make different warm and fuzzy objects. There are many, many different types of knitting loops and stitches that can also be used to create different textures and appearances.
This spell works by charming the two knitting needles to autonomously create the object in mind without your intervention. A basic knowledge of the knitting stitch you are wanting to use is necessary, as well as the size of the object you are wanting to create. If you simply cast this charm without these things in mind, the knitting needles will simply start clacking together and make a big mess of the yarn. At first, you may need to come back and cast the charm repeatedly in order to get the object completed, particularly if it is very large or complicated. Experienced casters will not have this problem, and can often have multiple sets of needles going at one time.
Incantation: Consilio (cone-SIL-ee-oh)
Wand Movement: A point at the target.
Willpower: Low; Must will the needles to pick themselves up and do the knitting.
Concentration: Moderate; Visualize the target end product.
This is a wonderful charm to practice while you are doing your homework, as it is a static spell that can be cast, then left alone while you perform other tasks. At first, your items may come out a bit off until you really get the hang of concentrating on the end product and exactly how you want it to look. Remember that the knitting needles themselves are not intelligent or magical. Therefore, you must provide all of the intelligence for them.
Our Favorite Charms
And with that, we end the new spells we will be learning for this year! We are not done though, oh no! I promised that you would learn a little more about your favorite Hogwarts professors today and I meant it!
When I was your age, I always loved learning new magic. I always wondered what spells my professors valued and why those were their favorite charms. So today, in order to help you learn a little bit more about your professors as well as see how some spells are used in the real world, I have a little treat for you. Over the past week or so I have been conducting little interviews with some of my dear colleagues. I have compiled their answers to one very important question here for you to peruse.
What is your favorite charm or spell, and why?
“Tinniherbus! This charm will cause mundane flowers to sing. Not in human voices but in their own way. Each flower has a different voice. I like to use this charm while gardening at my home or when working in the greenhouses. I often use this charm when I'm relaxing indoors. I have a multitude of flowers in my home and in my office at Hogwarts.” - Professor Liv Rowan, Herbology
“There are two spells I cannot live without. The Impervious Charm, so my nails do not chip, and the Chilling Charm, to keep my drinks cold.” - Professor Venita Wessex, Ancient Runes
“The Weight Reduction Charm, primarily because I find it much easier to drag trunks around when they weigh nothing. It's also rather useful if you are researching and have a number of books and other supplies. On a more personal note, as a boy I loved to go swimming in the lakes and rivers in Africa. I still like to swim, through the Dark Lake is a little too alive for my tastes! I used the Bubble Head Charm so I could stay fully immersed under the water for long periods of time.” - Professor Samuel Becker, History of Magic
“Scourgify! Pets are messy and sometimes I can be a little lazy!” - Professor Mary Mitchell, Transfiguration
As for me, my favorite charm is the Summoning Charm! This is my favorite because once I get comfortable with a warm beverage and a cozy chair by the fire, I really don’t want to get up for anything. With the Summoning Charm, I can get the book I want from across the room without having to try to get comfortable again later.
That, my dears, marks the end of our final lesson of Year Five Charms. I would like to take this time to thank all of you for the hard work and dedication you have put into Charms class this year. You are at a high point in your magical careers, and I cannot wait to complete the journey to Year Seven with you. Now, buckle down, review your notes, and I will see you at your O.W.L.s!
Many thanks to the Muggle health facility the Mayo Clinic on their wonderful information on hiccups!
Image credit: Natural Remedies Today, Harry Potter Wiki